Pensions auto-enrolment update: February 2016
Jeremy Clarke and Christine Scott provide a summary of the latest auto-enrolment updates from The Pensions Regulator, to assist members in practice.
Are you on track to support your clients with their automatic enrolment duties?
In 2016, around 500,000 UK employers will start their workplace pensions duties – if you haven’t already been contacted by your clients, you can expect to be approached soon.
Are you prepared to deal with this potential increase in business, and do you know which services you will offer? With this in mind, you may want to contact your clients sooner rather than later to find out when their duties start and agree how you’re going to help them. Then you can identify your busy times and plan your workload.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is the ‘go to’ place for information and support for business advisers.
Do you know what services you will offer your clients?
Don’t let your clients risk a fine. Insights from TPR show that employers can become non-compliant by failing to complete their declaration of compliance because they wrongly assume their business adviser is doing this for them.
Employers and their advisers should be clear who is completing each automatic enrolment task and advisers should be clear about what services they offer. The best way to do this is to set out clearly who will do what in writing, either in a separate engagement letter, or as a section in your payroll engagement letter.
The latter is more straightforward and there are illustrative examples in the General Practice Procedures Manual (GPPM) at A1.25 and A10.16. These are very similar to each other and, as with all template letters, you should NOT use them 'out of the box', but should carefully tailor them to reflect properly what you have agreed with your client.
As a starting point, it’s important to understand what to do and by when and this will depend on the circumstances of your clients and their staff.
Do you know what information your clients are required to provide to The Pensions Regulator to complete a Declaration of Compliance?
Your client must provide information to TPR to show they are meeting their automatic enrolment duties. This means completing a declaration of compliance using our online service no more five months after their staging date.
If you’re completing a declaration for your client, find out what information you need to provide to TPR and when you need to do it. If you have a query about completing the declaration see our automatic enrolment declaration questions.